7 January, 2013 – Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights
The Authority Does Not Respect the International Community, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry and the International Conventions
7 January 2013
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) expresses its deep concern for upholding the verdicts against opposition leaders and prominent activists by the Court of Cassation – 7 January – and the verdicts were upheld against:
1-Abdulwahab Hussain Ali ( life sentence imprisonment)
2-Ibrahim Sharif Abdulraheem Mossa ( 5 Years imprisonment)
3-Hassan Ali Mushaima.( life sentence imprisonment)
4-Abdulhadi Al Khawaja ( life sentence imprisonment)
5-Abduljalil Abdullah Al Singace.( life sentence imprisonment)
6-Mohammed Habib Al Safaf. ( Mohammed Habib Miqdad) ( life sentence imprisonment)
7-Saeed Mirza Ahmed. ( Saeed AlNouri) ( life sentence imprisonment)
8-Abduljalil Mansoor Makk. (Abdul Jalil Miqdad) ( life sentence imprisonment)
9-Abdullah Isa Al Mahroos.( 5 years imprisonment)
10-Salah Hubail Al Khawaj.( 5 years imprisonment)
11-Mohammed Hassan Jawad.( 15 years imprisonment)
12-Mohammed Ali Ismael. ( 15 years imprisonment))
13-Abdul Hadi Abdullah Mahdi Hassan ( Abdulhadi AlMukhodher) ( 15 years imprisonment)
Defendants ( in Absentia) :
14-Akeel Ahmed Al Mafoodh.( 15 years imprisonment)
15-Ali Hassan Abdullah.( Ali Abdulemam) ( 15 years imprisonment)
16-Abdulghani Ali Khanjar.( 15 years imprisonment)
17-Saeed Abdulnabi Shehab.( life sentence imprisonment)
18-Abdulraoof Al Shayeb.( 15 years imprisonment)
19-Abbas Al Omran.( 15 years imprisonment)
20-Ali Hassan Mushaima.( 15 years imprisonment)
The Bahraini Authorities do no respect the international community, such as the UN Human Rights Council (the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review), the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United States (the Congress and U.S. administration), and the European countries (the European Parliament, the European Union), where the international community demanded the immediate release of the political figures and to initiate a serious dialogue between the Authority and opposition. It did not even pay attention to the demands of the international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Frontline Human Rights Defenders, Human Rights First, the International Federation for Human Rights, Freedom House and others.
The Bahraini Authorities did also not respect the report of the ‘Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry’ established by the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, for the following reasons:
First: the role of those accused in the events of February and March 2011: the Independent Commission of Inquiry refutes the responsibility of the accused in the planning and escalation of events, and portrays a different image for the Coalition for the Republic.
Second: the Independent Commission of Inquiry documents the violations related to arrest and search, and the lawyers defend by saying that ‘What is built on falsehood is false’, however the Court of Appeal neglects all that when convicting the accused.
Third: the Independent Commission of Inquiry documents the violations (related to arbitrary arrest and detention in isolation of the outside world, torture and abuse) and recommends a neutral and independent investigation; however the Court of Appeal neglects that and deliberately depends in its verdicts on statements taken forcibly, and on testimonies taken from those involved in torturing the accused.
Fourth: the Court of Appeal neglects the conclusions and the recommendation of the Independent Commission of Inquiry in regards to ‘detention and prosecution in relation to freedom of expression, assembly and organization’, and it criminates the accused for practicing these liberties, by expanding on the interpretation of the Bahraini laws that restrict liberties, in order to condemn the accused of inciting violence and terrorism.
Fifth: the Court of Appeal condemns some of the accused of communicating (with other countries), despite the Independent Commission of Inquiry denying that there is any evidence of any external interference in the events.
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) confirmed that the Bahraini Authorities does not respect the International Conventions which it has ratified:
1. Convention against Torture
Refer to the report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry (refer to observations: 1230, 1233, 1234, 1235, 1237, 1238, 1240, 1241) and (refer to the cases related to this issue: 1 to 12, 23, 7)
2. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Refer to the report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry (refer to observation: 1291)
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) demands:
1. the immediate release of the opposition leaders and prominent activists, and to drop the charges related to freedom of opinion and expression and the freedom of peaceful gathering;
2. hold accountable those responsible for torture and abuse and to prosecute them before a fair court;
3. initiate a justice and reconciliation project and reimburse the victims;
4. permit freedom of opinion, expression and freedom of assembly.
January 7, 2013 No Comments
December 17, 2012 No Comments
Made for Show – Bahrain’s Judicial Process built to be politically expedient it has little to do with Justice
29 October, 2012 – Agence France Presse
DUBAI: Bahrain’s prosecutor Monday appealed against the acquittals of a policewoman accused of torturing a journalist and two policemen tried for murdering demonstrators in last year’s anti-regime protests.
“The prosecutor general has decided to file an appeal (after) a thorough review of the reasons” that led to the acquittals and after studying the evidences against the accused in both the cases, a statement issued by the prosecutor general Abderrahman al-Sayyed said.
On October 22, a Bahraini court had acquitted a policewoman who was charged with torturing female journalist Naziha Saeed, who is Manama’s correspondent for France 24 and Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya, during last year’s crackdown on anti-regime protests in the Gulf kingdom.
The court concluded that the testimony of the victim was “contradictory” and “does not conform to the pathologist’s report.”
The officer was prosecuted for hitting the journalist on May 22, 2011, after she was summoned by the police for questioning about her links with Al-Manar television of the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah.
In another case on September 27 the court acquitted two police officers accused of killing two Shiite protesters, Ali al-Moumin and Issa Abdel Hasan, during the crackdown on protests in 2011.
The court justified their acquittals on the basis of lack of evidence.
Home to the US Fifth Fleet and strategically situated across the Gulf from Iran, Bahrain has continued to witness sporadic Shiite-led demonstrations, mostly outside the capital since it crushed the pro-democracy uprising in March last year.
October 29, 2012 No Comments
Mr. Burt, accountability IS NOT arrest of “scapegoat” police – it is arrest of MOI and Government Officals responsible for torture, murder and rape
5 July, 2012 – Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt met Bahrain’s Minister for Justice and Islamic Affairs in London on 5 July.
They discussed the work of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry Follow-Up Unit, reform of the Bahraini judicial system, and areas where the UK’s judicial expertise could be of assistance. They also discussed preventative measures being taken by the Bahraini Government to ensure that human rights abuses were not repeated and initiatives being introduced in Bahrain to help with social cohesion.
Speaking after the meeting, Minister Burt said:
“It was a pleasure to welcome the Bahraini Minister for Justice and Islamic Affairs, Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, to the Foreign Office today. During the meeting I raised the UK’s ongoing concern about human rights abuses in Bahrain, which the UK also raised under Item 10 at the Human Rights Council this week. I welcomed the announcement this week that the Public Prosecution’s Special Investigation Unit has charged fifteen more police officers for the mistreatment of detainees during last year’s unrest. If Bahrain is to make progress towards long-term stability, it is important that those responsible for past abuses are held to account.
“The UK will continue to support and offer technical assistance to Bahrain. The pace of reform should not slip and the Minister was determined that it would not. I encourage the Bahraini Government to continue the positive steps they have taken and I urge all parties to engage constructively with each other for the long-term stability and prosperity of the country.” …source
July 6, 2012 No Comments
Associated Press – 1 May, 2012
GENEVA – The U.N. human rights office is welcoming Bahrain’s move to re-examine cases against activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and 20 others convicted last year by a military-led tribunal.
A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights says Bahraini authorities have now “recognized the importance of moving away from military justice for civilians.”
Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday there is no reason for al-Khawaja to be held “incommunicado” — and the jailed Bahraini hunger striker should have immediate access to family, a doctor, a lawyer and the Danish ambassador.
Denmark wants custody of al-Khawaja, who holds Danish citizenship and began a hunger strike Feb. 8.
Colville says al-Khawaja should be transferred to a civilian hospital. …source
May 1, 2012 No Comments
Bahrain: Hundreds Railroaded in Unjust Trials – Politically Motivated Prosecutions Flagrantly Disregard Rights
28 February, 2012 – Human Rights Watch
Grossly unfair military and civilian trials have been a core element in Bahrain’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests. The government should remedy the hundreds of unfair convictions of the past year by dropping the cases against everyone convicted on politically motivated charges and by adopting effective measures to end torture in detention.
Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch
(Beirut) – Bahrain has routinely convicted hundreds of opposition activists and others of politically motivated charges in unfair trials, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should void the convictions in trials before Bahrain’s military and civilian courts that fell far short of international fair trial standards, Human Rights Watch said.
The 94-page report, “No Justice in Bahrain: Unfair Trials in Military and Civilian Courts,”documents serious due process violations in high-profile trials before Bahrain’s special military courts in 2011 – including one trial of 21 prominent political activists and another of 20 doctors and other medical personnel – and in politically motivated trials before ordinary criminal courts since 2010. Serious abuses included denying defendants the right to counsel and to present a defense, and failure to investigate credible allegations of torture and ill-treatment during interrogation.
“Grossly unfair military and civilian trials have been a core element in Bahrain’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should remedy the hundreds of unfair convictions of the past year by dropping the cases against everyone convicted on politically motivated charges and by adopting effective measures to end torture in detention.”
The egregious violations of fair trial rights in political cases do not just reflect the poor practices of individual prosecutors and judges, but serious, systemic problems with Bahrain’s criminal justice system, Human Rights Watch said.
In a February 13, 2012 interview, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa told Der Spiegel magazine that: “There are no political prisoners as such in Bahrain. People are not arrested because they express their views, we only have criminals.”
The Human Rights Watch report is based on more than 50 interviews with defendants, defense lawyers, and trial observers, and a comprehensive examination of available trial verdicts and other court documents. Human Rights Watch wrote to Bahrain’s attorney general in November 2010 and to the justice minister in December 2011 concerning the trials, but received no response.
At least five people died as a result of torture while in custody following the government crackdown on mostly peaceful protests that began in mid-March 2011, according to the November reportof the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, a body of five international jurists and human rights experts set up by King Hamad. Human Rights Watch has documentedthe persistent practice of torture and ill-treatment by Bahraini security officers over the past several years. …more
February 28, 2012 No Comments
Committee issues vague recommendations in 11 cases out of nearly 1000, arbitrary arrests and torture continue
26 February, 2012 – Bahrain Center for Human Rights
The committee set by the Supreme Judicial Council revealed that 502 persons were convicted by the Military court up until Oct 2011 in 165 different cases, and another 437 cases which were referred from the Military Prosecution to the Public Prosecution in Oct 2011 are still open. Out of nearly a thousand cases, the committee reviewed only 30 cases and issued recommendation in only 11 cases:
Dropping the charges and excluding them from the daily precedents record for 5 defendants, taking into consideration only the penalty executed in relation to the four defendants, the exclusion of the charge in relation to one defendant, and dropping the charge for of the precedents record for one defendant.
Al-Wefaq issued a statement in which it said the government is trying to to get around the recommendations of Bassiouni regarding the trials.
Mohsen Al Alawi, a lawyer who represents one defendant involved in the 30 cases, said it was not clear how many of the 11 defendants were still in jail or had been freed.
He said the fate of charges in the rest of the 30 cases was not clear.
“It’s very opaque,” he said, adding that in his view all military court verdicts should have been shelved in line with the commission’s recommendations, rather than allowing the cases to continue in civilian courts.
Cases still pending after transfer to civilian courts include controversial trials of medics, teachers and 14 men jailed for leading the protests last year. One of those 14, rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who also has Danish nationality, has been on hunger strike for more than two weeks.
(as reported on chicagotribune.com)
A 24 year old man from Malikeya gets arrested from his house then taken to a nearby checkpoint where he was brutally beaten by security forces using their batons, weapons and wooden sticks, leading to several bones fracture and bruises all over his body. He was then taken back to his area. …more
February 26, 2012 No Comments
By Mira Dabit – Michaelmoore.com – moqawama.com – 22 February, 2012
Sometimes when I ponder about being a Palestinian, my mind travels towards the direction of responsibility, a heavy load of existence, survival, humanity and freedom. A life where everything seems to be somehow a beautiful disaster.
When people ask me how I view myself, I answer that I’m a Palestinian woman – which in my mind equals a survivor, a human.
A few months ago on a Tuesday morning, I drove past the Israeli barrier wall in Bethlehem, and stared at this ugly grey structure that has destroyed the geography of a once-beautiful land, turning it into huge prison blocks and bantu stands. Feelings of pain and anger filled my heart as I tried my best to avoid looking at this thing that to me is a visual representation of the “Israeli” occupation … until I came upon a graffiti on the wall that read in huge letters “existence is resistance.” These three words filled my face with a smile and a sensation of pride and honor to belong to a people who have dedicated their life to the plight and hope of justice.
What fills my heart today is the struggle of Adnan Khader, a 33-year-old baker from a village near Jenin in the occupied West Bank. Adnan Khader is now entering his 62nd day on hunger strike after he was put under “Administrative Detention” – that is, imprisonment without trail or charge or evidence in “Israeli” jail
Mr. Adnan Khader started his hunger strike protest on the 18th of December. His affiliation with an Islamic political group seems to be a good enough reason for being imprisoned in violation of his basic human right, stated in Article 19 of the UN bill of rights: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” So what was Adnan’s crime? Having opinions? Thinking differently than what “Israel” likes? What would the world be like if everyone who thought differently and expressed it was put in prison
Khader Adnan’s life at the moment is in the hands of the “Israeli” military court, an arm of the colonial Israeli occupation of the land of Palestine. Earlier this week, an Israeli military court rejected an appeal against Adnan’s continued detention. The “Israeli” prison service has said Adnan was being dealt with in accordance to his “definition as a security-administrative prisoner.”
[Read more →]
February 22, 2012 No Comments
February 15, 2012 No Comments
29 September 2011 – Bahrain Center for Human Rights
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights condemn in the strongest term the unfair and harsh verdicts issued today by the National Safety Court, in other words a military court – against 20 doctors, nurses and paramedics working for the state health sector in Bahrain. The verdicts include 15, 10 and 5 years prison sentences against the 20 health professionals as listed below:
1. Dr. Ali Al-Ekri, 15 years in prison
2. Dr. Nadir Diwani, 15 years in prison
3. Dr. Ahmed Abdul Aziz Omran, 15 years in prison.
4. Dr. Mahmoud Asghar, 15 years in prison
5. Rula Al Saffar, head of Bahrain Nursing Society, 15 years in prison
6. Dr. Abdulkhaleq Al-Oraibi, 15 years in prison
7. Dr. Ghassan Daif, 15 years in prison
8. Bassem Daif, 15 years in prison
9. Sayed Marhoon Al-Wedaie, 15 years in prison
10. Dr. Nada Daif, 15 years in prison
11. Dr. Fatima Salman Haji, 5 years in prison
12. Dheya Jafar Ibrahim, 5 years in prison
13. Dr.Najah Khalil Ibrahim, 5 years in prison
14. Dr. Saeed Samahiji, 10 years in prison
15. Dr. Zahra Mehdi Sammak, 5 years in prison
16. Mohammed Ul-Shehab, 5 years in prison
17. Haassan Mohamed Altoblani, 10 years in prison
18. Ibrahim Abdullah Ibrahim Damastani, 15 years in prison
19. Ali Hassan Alsdda, 15 years in prison, tried in absentia
20. Qassim Mohammed Omran, 15 in prison, tried in absentia
The Bahraini government has presented the military court with a list of ready-made charges against the group such as:
1. The possession of unlicensed weapons and ammunition;
2. The attempt of forcefully occupying a public building (Salmaniya Hospital);
3. Promotion to bring down and change the regime by illegal means;
4. The confiscation of medical equipment;
5. Spreading false news about the wounded;
6. Inciting hatred against the governing regime.
What the Bahraini government has done on this occasion is something that has never happened in the modern history of man-kind; by targeting the health professionals using the most inhuman ways such as: arbitrary arrest, torture, extracting confessions from them while blindfolded and under torture, and bad conditions in prison.
The ill-treatment that they faced from the very first moment of arrest and the huge pressure created an unlimited amount of psychological and physical pain on all of them, while others are now suffering from chronic diseases. Despite the promise of the King of Bahrain and in contrary to national legislation, the doctors and medics who are civilians have been brought before a military court that lacks the basic principles of justice and does not comply with any of the international standards in order to deliver justice to law-abiding citizens. The 20 doctors, nurses and paramedics who have faced criminal charges, are part of 48 doctors, nurses and paramedics who were arrested in March and April 2011, while the second group includes 28 accused of misdemeanors. “The Bahraini government is targeting highly qualified health professionals who have an excellent reputation on both the national and international levels. Their crime is they tried to treat their fellow citizens who took part in peaceful demonstrations,” said Nabeel Rajab head of Gulf Centre for Human Rights and Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. He continued by saying that “the government of Bahrain should instead bring those who attacked the peaceful demonstrators to justice.”
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights and the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights call on the King of Bahrain to intervene personally and immediately to stop this farce and revoke these unfair sentences issued against the medical staff. He should also disable all the arbitrary measures against them and compensate them fairly for all material and moral damages and set up an independent commission to investigate all allegations of torture reported by reliable sources from within Bahrain. …source
September 29, 2011 No Comments
August 23rd, 2011 – BYSHR
Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights-BYSHR expresses its deep concern for the decree no. “28” 2011 that was published in the Official Gazette on 18 August 2011 and allowed the trial of the civilians who have been arrested since the political unrest that started in February 2011.
The first article in the decree states that: “the ordinary courts take over all the cases of misdemeanors and appeals relating to them that were not adjudicated in a final verdict by the National Safety Court”
Article 2 states that: “The Lower National Safety Court adjudicates in all cases of crimes referred to it in accordance with the provisions of Decree No. (18) 2011 declaring state of national safety and those cases it started deliberating in them. Both the prosecutors and the sentenced can appeal the verdicts issued by this court before the Supreme Court of Appeal”
The BYSHR lawyer said that “the military tribunals will be held for seven criminal cases in the coming days” and according to the lawyer, the tribunals will try:
1. The medical staff- 28 August 2011 – The Lower National Safety Court
2. Political leaders and human rights activists – 11 September 2011 -The Appeal National Safety Court.
3. Occupation of the police station -24 August 2011 – The Lower National Safety Court.
4. Cutting the tongue of a Pakistani expatriate – 25 August 2011 – The Lower National Safety Court.
5.Covering up defendants in criminal cases – 24 August 2011 – The Lower National Safety Court.
6.Running over Nine security men -8 September 2011 – The Lower National Safety Court.
7.Attack on security men using weapons in the Financial Harbour – 6 September 2011 – The Lower National Safety Court.
The Bahraini authorities have violated international conventions to try civilians before a military tribunals.
BYSHR demands the Bahraini authorities to halt the military tribunals for defendants in criminal cases and immediate and independent investigation in the torture allegations. ..more
August 23, 2011 No Comments
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August 23, 2011 No Comments